Translating and publishing French theatre in China

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-243
Number of pages19
Journal / PublicationFrancosphères
Issue number2
Online published1 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021



This article examines transformations in the literary translation environment in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) specifically in relation to French-language theatre. After an initial survey of literary translation in the PRC from its foundation to the present, the article studies how French-language plays have been translated and adapted for publication. In particular, it considers how French theatre has occupied a favoured position in the Chinese translation literary system over the past four decades. It then focuses on three emblematic cases, those of Molière, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Samuel Beckett. Regarding the latter, two Chinese translations of En attendant Godot/Waiting for Godot will be examined to determine how contextual factors affected translation choices. In this way, the article seeks both to contribute to current discussions on ‘translatability’ and to consider the reception of canonical French-language writers in the Chinese literary system.

Research Area(s)

  • theatre, translation, China, Molière, Sartre

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